Debt Ceiling Update
Jonathan Cohn writes "Deal Very Close. Be Very Afraid."
Here's what he's hearing for what's in the deal.
- A debt ceiling increase of up to $2.1 to $2.4 trillion (depending on the size of the spending cuts agreed to in the final deal).
- They have now agreed to spending cuts of roughly $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
- The formation of a special Congressional committee to recommend further deficit reduction of up to $1.6 trillion (whatever it takes to add up to the total of the debt ceiling increase). This deficit reduction could take the form of spending cuts, tax increases or both.
- The special committee must make recommendations by late November (before Congress' Thanksgiving recess).
- If Congress does not approve those cuts by December 23, automatic across-the-board cuts go into effect, including cuts to Defense and Medicare. This "trigger" is designed to force action on the deficit reduction committee's recommendations by making the alternative painful to both Democrats and Republicans.
- A vote, in both the House and Senate, on a balanced budget amendment.
No tax increase included in the trigger sure sounds like a major win for the tea party and a massive loss for the country. When the cuts come and the economy is drowned in a bathtub, the billionaires and lunatics will be cheering the demise of this once great country of ours.